Once you’ve explored Marrakech’s sprawling souks, magnificent palaces, and famous Djemaa el Fna, it’s time to travel further afield and discover more of Morocco’s magic. Marrakech’s strategic location means you can visit the mountains, desert, or beach, all on a day tour—here are your options.
Atlas Mountains — 25 miles (40 km) from Marrakech
Set in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, Marrakech is the obvious starting point for exploring the snow-capped range. On a day tour, you might head to the oasis-like Ourika Valley; follow the ancient Berber trails through the High Atlas Mountains on a 4WD excursion; marvel at the Ouzoud Waterfalls; or stop at Tahanaout village for an insight into traditional Berber life and culture. For an even more unforgettable experience, opt for a romantic hot air balloon ride over the mountains, and then trek out into the desert on a camel.
Ouarzazate & Ait Ben Haddou — 120 miles (195 km) from Marrakech
Set against a dramatic desert backdrop, the fortified Kasbah of Ait Ben Haddou is both a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Morocco’s most popular filming sites, seen on screen in movies such as Lawrence of Arabia, Star Wars, and Gladiator. See it on a guided tour that might also include nearby Ouarzazate, where you can sip Moroccan mint tea as you gaze out over the Sahara desert.
Essaouira — 120 miles (192 km) from Marrakech
Head to the Atlantic coast, where the historic port town of Essaouira is renowned for its colorful harbor and maze-like medina. After browsing the stalls in the jewelry quarter and souks, head down to the beach, where you can ride a camel along the sands, take a swim in the ocean, or watch the windsurfers and kitesurfers along the seafront.